Official 13th Doctor ScarfBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 October 2019 - Reported by Marcus
13th Doctor Scarf (Credit: Lovarzi)13th Doctor Scarf (Credit: Lovarzi)The first ever officially-licensed Thirteenth Doctor Scarf is released this week by Lovarzi.

Inspired by the colourful t-shirt worn by Jodie Whittaker's incarnation of the Time Lord, this rich blue scarf is edged with a stylish rainbow pattern based on the t-shirt the Thirteenth Doctor proudly acquired at the end of her first full episode, The Woman Who Fell To Earth (2018).

This exclusive design is made from 100% high-quality Acrylic.

Maninder Singh Sahota, Director of Lovarzi, says
We think the Thirteenth Doctor’s outfit is the perfect look for this new era of the show. It's bright, bold, and colourful, so our specially-designed scarf is similarly eye-catching. But it's sure to sell fast, so best get a shift on!
Lovarzi's Doctor Who line launched in 2012 with the best-selling multi-coloured Fourth Doctor Scarf. Since then, the company has catered for cosplayers, collectors, and casual fans with items such as the TARDIS and Dalek Christmas Hat and Scarf, Seventh Doctor Sweater, and The Pandorica Opens Scarf. The Winter 2019/20 range also includes the TARDIS Laptop Bag.

The Thirteenth Doctor Scarf (25 x 175cms) will be available to order on 11th October, priced £24.99, from the official Lovarzi website

If you join LOVARZI Doctor Who Fan Club now and enjoy savings of 15% at time of launch plus get early exclusive access to buy the scarf.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires BurnBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announce more details about the first novel in its seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, Bloodlines:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn
Written by Gareth Madgwick
Cover by Richard Young


1943. Britain's Home Front is feeling the pain of war.

The Fourth Operational Corps has other things to worry about. A downed plane in the High Peak leads Professor Travers to a village full of buried secrets and a family that are far more than they seem.

Her first assignment sees new recruit Eileen Le Croissette infiltrating a Sheffield Steelworks. Buried within is a weapon that could change the course of the war, but what does the secretive Mr Huxtable have to do with it?

Avoiding his domineering father, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart is also on the case. But he wasn't banking on meeting a group of homicidal little robots…

The pieces are being set for another conflict, one that started a long way away, to erupt in the middle of wartime Britain.

Home Fires Burn sees the return of Section Officer Eileen Le Croissette, based on real-life war hero Eileen Younghusband, on her first mission for the Home-Army Fourth Operational Corps, once again alongside Professor Edward Travers. It also features the return of the Brigadier’s uncle, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart and the Quarks (last seen in the Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Mutually Assured Domination!)

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
As with The Laughing Gnome sequence of novels, I came up with an arc in which to tell some non-chronological stories. Shaun and I wanted to highlight some of popular secondary characters, so I looked at which characters would make for a good mix. And, to add to the mix, which monsters had not used independently before. In this instance, the Quarks (baring some comics in the 1960s) always tend to appear alongside their masters the Dominators, so I thought it would be interesting to utilise them without the Dominators. And bearing in mind this first book is set in 1943, that presented the author with another challenge. How to use them without the Dominators, and in a time period long before they ever came to Earth. One other element I wanted to include, just so we had at least one Lethbridge-Stewart in the book, was to bring back the Brig’s uncle, Matthew, a character Gareth handled so well in his previous short story. I’m happy to say Gareth produced a great story that brings all these elements together, as well as honours the great men and women who served our nation during World War II.
This is the first novel by Gareth Madgwick, who had previously written two short stories for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, The Great Magician and Spirits of the Vasty Deep in The HAVOC Files 4 collection, and Inheritance in the Lineage anthology. He said:
I was thrilled when Andy asked me to write my first full length novel, and even more excited when I found out that I would be writing for Edward Travers, Eileen Le Croissette and the Fourth Operational Corps during the war. After all, an eccentric scientist, a confident young woman and a not completely trustworthy military are what the big old Doctor Who universe is all about if, like me, you started with the Pertwee repeats in the ‘90s. The story really began to come together best after Andy asked me to avoid anything that wasn't really known in contemporary literature and science of 1943. That led me down the path of some of the wonderful genre fiction that predated the 1950s, when we think science fiction started. A lot of that has influenced the book in its feel. It's been a blast writing it. Although a massive step up from the two short stories that I'd written for Candy Jar previously, it was a natural progression. I felt that I was combining the character work of Inheritance with the historical research that I did for The Great Magician (although I have to say, Sheffield's libraries have rather a better selection of Second World War material than information on Owain Glyndwr for some reason).
The cover is by returning artist Richard Young, whose previous cover art includes The Flaming Soldier, A Very Private Haunting, and Scary Monsters. Richard said:
I’ve wanted to tackle the Quarks for a long time and knowing that the book is set in Sheffield during the Second World War, I felt that they should have an authentic wartime look. Added to this, I wanted to feature a different picture of Eileen. After a bit of research, Shaun found a wonderful photograph. I just hope people like what I have done.
Gareth adds:
The beautiful cover has really captured the feel of the book.

Home Fires Burn is released to tie-in with the 80th Anniversary of World War II. Shaun Russell, Head of Publishing at Candy Jar Books, explains a little of Eileen’s role in the war:
With eightieth anniversary of the start of the war, we felt that we really wanted to acknowledge the contribution the greatest generation made to all our lives. In 1941 Eileen signed the official secrets act, and wasn’t able to talk about her work in the top secret Filter Room. In 2017 she was featured in The Flaming Soldier and we’ve had so many requests to bring her back. So, here she is launching the new series of books, and this time round her contribution to this story will have major affect on Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s life.
Gareth said:
The Second World War is an era that has always fascinated me, including the bravery and steadfastness of those like Eileen Le Croissette (later Candy Jar author Eileen Younghusband). Setting it in the beautiful Peak District and also the nearby Sheffield steelworks gave me an opportunity to look into areas of the war effort that aren't always explored elsewhere, and the sacrifices made.

Home Fires Burn can be pre-ordered now either on its own or as part of the Bloodlines bundle from the Candy Jar website. It is also part of the series seven subscription.




Eccleston to attend Gallifrey One ConventionBookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 September 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston has been announced as a guest at the annual Gallifrey One Convention to be held in Los Angeles early next year.

The appearance will see the actor attend both days of the convention, now in its thirty-first year.

Christopher Eccleston has for many years been reluctant to discuss his time in Doctor Who. He was cast as The Doctor when the series returned in 2005, but only served for one year. The manner of his departure was controversial with the BBC at the time having to apologise for a press release issued on his departure which was inaccurate over the reasons the star left the series.

Eccleston said the incident at the time left him feeling bitter. In recent years he has been more amenable to discussing his role as the Doctor and in his recent autobiography, he paid tribute to the show's fans.
Yes, I have felt bitter, and yes, I have felt betrayed, but I know also that Doctor Who was the best thing that, professionally, ever happened to me, not so much a learning curve as a plunge down a well and a long climb towards the sunshine I see now,

These days, I feel nothing but positive about the show, to the extent I have even started doing conventions, something I’d been wary of because I always wanted to earn my money from acting.
Eccleston has recently released a new memoir I Love the Bones of You: My Father And The Making Of Me, a gritty account of his life, his battles and his relationship with his father, who suffers from dementure. In the book, the actor discusses his mental health, revealing that he has lived with eating disorders and had considered suicide. He revealed that while making Doctor Who he was suffering from anorexia.
People love the way I look in that series, but I was very ill. The reward for that illness was the part. And therein lies the perpetuation of the whole sorry situation.
A spokesperson for the eating disorder charity Beat praised the actor's courage speaking about having anorexia.

In the UK Christopher Eccleston will be discussing the book at a special event being held at the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays on Monday 14th October.





Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National Service updateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 8 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National Service (John Peel) (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced a change of author for the coda of their The Laughing Gnome series of books.

On His Majesty’s National Service was originally scheduled to be written by David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher for a June release. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, David McIntee was unable to continue.

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:
I have always been a big fan of David’s outstanding Doctor Who work, and I truly regret having to engage a new author. It is unfortunate that, in David’s own words, he was ‘over committed’, but we’re lucky to have found such a wonderful replacement in John Peel.

The new version of On His Majesty’s National Service will be set during the same period of Lethbridge-Stewart’s life, but will be telling a different story.

Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
John promptly came up with some ideas and a basic outline that fit the shopping list of elements I gave to him – certain story beats needed to be hit, to fit continuity from other books. I did give David the option of allowing John to use elements from his story, should they fit, which David was quite happy to do. However, beyond a few background details, John has opted to go his own way. It’s going to be an exciting adventure story set during the Korean War, in which we see the events that turned Lethbridge-Stewart into the hero we all know and love.

The book is currently available to pre-order from the Candy Jar website.
There was always one question that bugged Bill Bishop, what turned Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from a man interested in teaching to a career military hero? Using the power of the Laughing Gnome, Bill travels back to the 1950s to find out...

As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a maths teacher. But then the Korean War broke out and he was called up for National Service. He soon met Spencer Pemberton – and his life was changed forever!




Season 26 Blu-ray ReleaseBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 3 September 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Season 26 (Credit: BBC Studios)BBC Studios have announced that Season 26 will be the next instalment in the DOCTOR WHO: THE COLLECTION Blu-ray range

Released on Monday 23rd December is the acclaimed final season from the series’ original run, starring Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred:

Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 26
  • BATTLEFIELD
  • GHOST LIGHT
  • THE CURSE OF FENRIC
  • SURVIVAL
In 1989, Doctor Who was on a creative high, with the Seventh Doctor and his companion Ace revitalising the programme for a new generation. Season 26 featured four epic adventures traversing a future Britain invaded by inter-dimensional knights, a strange Victorian house haunted by ghosts from Ace’s past, an alien world populated by Cheetah People and a 1940s army camp under siege from monstrous vampires.

With guest stars including Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Jean Marsh, Nicholas Parsons, Anne Reid, Ian Hogg, Sylvia Syms and comedy duo Hale & Pace, this fondly-remembered set of stories saw the end of an era for Doctor Who, and set the stage for its hugely successful revival.

With all episodes newly remastered from the best available sources, this Blu-ray box set also contains extensive and exclusive special features including:

Rare Restored Extended Cuts
  • The Curse of Fenric VHS Extended Version
  • The Curse of Fenric DVD Special Edition
  • Battlefield VHS Extended Version
  • Battlefield DVD Special Edition
5.1 surround sound & isolated scores
  • On all 14 broadcast episodes, plus 5.1 sound on all extended versions of The Curse Of Fenric and Battlefield.
Behind the Sofa
  • New episodes with Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, plus companions Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Anneke Wills and Jodie-Whittaker-era writers Pete McTighe & Joy Wilkinson.
Showman - the Life of John Nathan-Turner
  • A feature-length look at the life and career of Doctor Who’s longest-serving producer, who fought to keep the programme on-air during the 1980s. Contributors include Peter Davison and Colin Baker.
Making ‘The Curse of Fenric’
  • A brand new documentary featuring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Tomek Bork, Nicholas Parsons, Cory Pulman, Marek Anton, Ian Briggs, Andrew Cartmel, Mark Ayres and Ian Collins featuring unseen behind-the-scenes footage and photographs.
In Conversation
  • Matthew Sweet chats to companion Sophie Aldred.
The Writers’ Room
  • Ben Aaronovitch, Marc Platt, Ian Briggs, Rona Munro and Andrew Cartmel discuss their work on Season 26.
Becoming The Destroyer
  • Actor Marek Anton and prosthetics designer Stephen Mansfield recall the creation of one of Doctor Who’s best ever monsters.
The seven-disc box set also includes hours of special features previously released on DVD.

Pre-order on Amazon.

On Saturday 23rd November, the BFI Southbank will be screening Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric (from the Special Edition Blu-ray) and holding a Q&A with actor Sophie Aldred and script editor Andrew Cartmel. Tickets are available from the BFI on the following dates:
  • Monday 16th September – BFI Patrons and Champions
  • Tuesday 17th September – BFI Members
  • Tuesday 24th September – public booking




Sixth Doctor and Peri return in new audio adventures for 2020Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Sixth Doctor and Peri - Vol 1: Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish have announced four new adventures for the Sixth Doctor and Peri for August 2020, set after The Trial of a Time Lord and their audio adventure The Rani Elite.

Producer/Director Scott Handcock said:
Ever since the Sixth Doctor and Peri were reunited in The Widow’s Assassin back in 2014, listeners have wanted a continuation of their post-Trial of a Time Lord adventures together. And so now, to commemorate twenty years of Doctor Who at Big Finish, they’re getting a new collection of stories spanning the cosmos. We travel to nineteenth-century Africa, futuristic Earth colonies and a 1970s film studios plus we meet the ultimate Doctor/companion relationship counsellor in Sigmund Freud!

Nicola Bryant said about her character's return:
Because of the journey that BF have given them, both together and individually, we’ve been lucky enough to expand them into these amazing new people. If everything had stayed in some kind of stasis where we were stuck with exactly what we did on television, then I think the audience might have disappeared. But it just seems that we’ve been given such great journeys, and I love coming back to this Doctor/companion.

This new set of stories will also feature Colin Baker's daughter Rosie in the third adventure.

The Sixth Doctor and Peri - Vol 1 (Credit: Big Finish)1. The Headless Ones by James Parsons & Andrew Stirling-Brown
When a distress call from an unknown source threatens to rip the TARDIS from the vortex, the Doctor and Peri arrive in nineteenth-century Africa hoping to find the cause of the disturbance. Instead, they meet a British expedition searching for a long lost tribe: the B’lemyae… better known to the locals as ‘the Headless Ones’.

2. Like by Jacqueline Rayner
On the Earth colony world Rusina, the populace strive to be popular. Likes lead to promotion, dislikes lead to demotion – and more recently, something worse. So when the Doctor investigates the truth behind their subscriber-led society, he finds himself about to become very unpopular indeed.

3. The Vanity Trap by Stuart Manning
Myrna Kendal used to be a Hollywood film star. Now she spends her life reminiscing on chat shows but there is always one unfinished film she refuses to talk about… at least until the TARDIS interrupts a TV interview, and the Doctor and Peri’s appearance stirs up long-forgotten memories.

4. Conflict Theory by Nev Fountain
Concerned by the Doctor’s increasing over-protectiveness, Peri presents him with an ultimatum: either they seek counselling or she leaves the TARDIS permanently. Reluctant to lose one of his closest friends, the Doctor seeks out one of the finest psychoanalysts in the universe: Dr Sigmund Freud.

Cast
Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown), Deirdre Mullins (Amanda Latimer), Hugh Skinner (Lord Oliver Erpingham), Vivienne Acheampong (Siyanda), Javone Prince (Kaylin), Lucy Robinson (Christie), Eilidh Loan (Marconi), Amelia Donkor (Hoffmann), Rachel Atkins (Governor Crompton), Timothy Blore (Sandis-Fernis), Sarah Douglas (Myrna Kendal), Rosie Baker (Carolyn Sue), Stephen Critchlow (Jimmy Garfield), Ryan Forde Iosco (Dr. Karp), David Sibley (Dr. Freud), Raj Ghatak (The Complex), George Naylor (Dodo).

The Sixth Doctor and Peri - Vol 1: Cast from The Headless Ones (Credit: Big Finish) The Sixth Doctor and Peri - Vol 1: Cast from Like (Credit: Big Finish) The Sixth Doctor and Peri - Vol 1: Cast from The Vanity Trap (Credit: Big Finish) The Sixth Doctor and Peri - Vol 1: Cast from Conflict Theory (Credit: Big Finish)




Black Archive #34: BattlefieldBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 August 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Black Archive - Battlefield (Credit: Obverse Books)The latest in the series looking in detail at the making of Doctor Who, Black Archive, has been published by Obverse Books

Edition #34 looks at the seventh Doctor story Battlefield and come from range editor, Philip Purser-Hallard.

Often seen as the black sheep of the final season of 20th century Doctor Who, Battlefield also happens to be one of Purser-Hallard's favourite Who stories, but he's not allowed that fondness to blind him the serial's faults - though fair to say he doesn't pan it either.

Battlefield (1989) sees a clash of mythologies, as the progressive, anti-racist, sporadically pacifist Doctor Who of the late 1980s takes on Britain’s authoritarian, chivalric national myth of King Arthur. With a script by Ben Aaronovitch, now a bestselling urban fantasy novelist but then only the writer of the previous year’s acclaimed Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), it forms with its predecessor a ‘philosophical pair’, replacing its 1960s setting with an imagined 1990s and showing a Doctor dealing with the repercussions of his future actions, rather than his past. Even as a script Battlefield falls short of complete success, yet it remains an emotionally literate, politically engaged and thematically complex piece. It finds areas of overlap between Andrew Cartmel’s radical conception of Doctor Who and Arthurian myth in the legend of a past golden age, represented by the return of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT, and in the identification of the Doctor – always presented by the series as a wizard, a prophet and a mentor – with Merlin. It interrogates the patriarchal attitudes of both the Arthurian myths and 1970s Doctor Who from a contemporary perspective, and questions the attitudes to war found in both.

It also does an exemplary job of worldbuilding, sketching in a convincing near future based on a handful of lines, and presents a complex, questionable, even sympathetic villain motivated by a value system alien to our own. Finally, it raises questions of predestination: through the other characters’ foreknowledge of the Doctor’s future; through the fate apparently decreed for Ancelyn and Bambera; and, perhaps, through the Brigadier’s survival of a story whose structure seems to demand that he should die.

Philip Purser-Hallard is the founding editor of the Black Archive range, the author of The Black Archive #4: Death in Heaven and co-author of The Black Archive #13: Human Nature / The Family of Blood.

He has published five novels, including a trilogy of near-future Arthurian urbanfantasy political thrillers, The Pendragon Protocol, The Locksley Exploit and Trojans, and a Sherlock Holmes novel, The Vanishing Man.

Link to Website




Doctor Who: Battle ScarsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Battle Scars (Credit: Big Finish)A new Doctor Who Short Trips has just been released by Big Finish

Doctor Who: Short Trips – Battle Scars, by Selim Ulug, takes us back in history as the Ninth Doctor makes a voyage on the Titanic.

Nightmarish memories of the Boer War. Crippling debts. An unconscious stranger in the garden. Arthur Daniels is beset with problems. Little does he know that his proposed solution could be the biggest problem of them all: a voyage to America aboard the RMS Titanic.
Writer Selim Ulug, a previous winner of the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity, told us more about this tale for the Ninth Doctor (set before he met Rose)
It's a thrill to have the opportunity to write for Big Finish again. In Battle Scars we learn what happens when the Daniels family of Southampton encounter the Doctor. They're booked to sail on the Titanic, but when you run into the Doctor, unexpected things are sure to happen.

In addition to answering the question of why the family stayed behind, I wanted to use this story to explore the impact of war on its participants. The Doctor, after all, was recently in the Time War. Other characters in the story fought in the second Boer War. They're all looking for ways to move forward.
Narrated by Nicholas Briggs, Doctor Who – Short Trips: Battle Scars is available now at just £2.99 on download (only) from Big Finish.





Coming next in the Short Trips range, #HarrySullivan gets trending!

This Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane and, of course, Harry Sullivan story is narrated by Louise Jameson.
En route to answer the Brigadier’s summons, the TARDIS is dragged off course. The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry find themselves trapped on The Zephyr, a spaceship that is going at full speed and yet is unable to move. With fuel running dangerously low, their only hope lies on Alderasea, a nearby world exclusively for the famous and celebrated.

However, Alderasea has never heard of them and has no intention of letting them land.






Fourth Doctor on vinylBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Wave of Destruction (Credit: Big Finish)Following the sell-out success of Big Finish Productions limited edition Doctor Who stories on vinyl, the audio company is delighted to announce another exclusive release in conjunction with Sainsbury's.

Doctor Who: Wave of Destruction starring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson on Friday 19th July 2019. It will be released as a Limited Edition run of 1500 copies on ocean swirl vinyl – only available in the UK, in Sainsbury’s stores.

In this full-cast audio drama from 2016, the Vardans return to take on Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor. The Doctor had previously encountered the Vardans on Gallifrey, the Doctor’s home planet, in the 1978 television story, The Invasion of Time.

A modulated frequency wave cancellation signal isn’t something that the Doctor and Romana expect to detect in 1960s London. But then they don’t expect to find Professor Lanchester, the man who invented it, lying unconscious. Or MI5 investigating. With the help of MI5 Agent Miller; Lanchester’s daughter Jill; and his nephew – a pirate radio DJ called Mark; the Doctor, Romana and K-9 investigate. They soon discover that there is more at risk than they imagined, and an alien invasion is about to begin. Can the Doctor identify and defeat the aliens in time? Will Romana manage to find a recombinant transducer before it’s too late? And how will K-9 cope with his new job?
Tom Baker portrayed the Doctor on screen from 1974 until 1981 returning to star alongside Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as the curator in the 50th anniversary TV special, The Day of the Doctor, in 2013.

John Leeson was first brought in as the voice of K-9 – the Fourth Doctor’s robot dog – for the 1977 TV story, The Invisible Enemy. After a short break John returned for season 18 of Doctor Who in 1980. He also reprised his role as K-9 in the pilot TV episode for K-9 and Company (1981 – a spin-off from Doctor Who) and voiced K-9 for the 20th anniversary TV episode of Doctor Who, The Five Doctors and the 2006 Doctor Who TV episode, School Reunion.

Lalla Ward made her debut as Romana in December 1979, and after almost three series she made her last appearance alongside John Leeson in January 1981.

Of this special vinyl release, Lalla Ward said:
Recording Wave of Destruction was an absolute delight and I’m very pleased that we’ve made it onto a record. Romana is used to running circles around the Doctor so she’ll be right at home on the turntable.
Wave of Destruction, written by Justin Richards, is the first story of the fifth series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions.




Lethbridge-Stewart: BloodlinesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, a five-book series with an overall title of Bloodlines.

The series launches in September with Home Fires Burn by Gareth Madgwick, which sees the return of real-life World War II hero, Eileen Younghusband. Set during the Second World War, the novel reunites Eileen and Professor Edward Travers. They are joined in this adventure by Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart, the Brigadier’s uncle, who first appeared in the Lineage anthology.

Home Fires Burn is released to tie-in with the 80th Anniversary of World War II. Shaun Russell, Head of Publishing at Candy Jar Books, explains a little of Eileen’s role in the war:
With eightieth anniversary of the start of the war, we felt that we really wanted to acknowledge the contribution the greatest generation made to all our lives. In 1941 Eileen signed the official secrets act, and wasn’t able to talk about her work in the top secret Filter Room. In 2017 she was featured in The Flaming Soldier and we’ve had so many requests to bring her back. So, here she is launching the new series of books, and this time round her contribution to this story will have major affect on Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s life.
Gareth Madgwick said:
I've really enjoyed writing this book. The Second World War is an era that has always fascinated me, including the bravery and steadfastness of those like Eileen Le Croissette (later Candy Jar author Eileen Younghusband). Setting it in the beautiful Peak District and also the nearby Sheffield steelworks gave me an opportunity to look into areas of the war effort that aren't always explored elsewhere, and the sacrifices made.

The second book in the sequence is The Shadow Man, written by popular author Sharon Bidwell, her second novel for the series. In The Shadow Man we unveil the Bloodlines connection a little bit more, and focus in on Anne Travers and Bill Bishop as they head to France to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Sharon said:
When asked to write a novel focusing on Anne and Bill, I welcomed the chance to explore their relationship a little more than the series has hereto allowed for. What better way to add to this universe, than working with a quintessential strong female, one known for speaking her mind, for her intelligence, for her independence, as well as being a mother, and a woman in love?

The third book in the sequence is An Ordinary Man by Andy Frankham-Allen. In this book, the Bloodlines sequence starts to come together as we explore an alternative timeline in which Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never went into military service. Andy said:
This was originally planned as the opening book in the sequence, but we reshuffled to tie in the Eileen book with the World War II anniversary. As a result, this is a wonderful mid-season (as it were) cliffhanger book, that brings to the fore the hints of the mystery littered throughout the previous two titles. It’ll end on quite the cliffhanger, setting the stage for the next two titles due out early 2020.

Later books in the series are written by Chris Lynch and Baz Greenland, with a sixth tangentially connected title to follow by Robert Mammone. Details on these releases will be announced later in the year.


The series is available to order as either a three or six book bundle from the Candy Jar website; the series is also covered by those with a regular subscription. If you purchase Home Fires Burn you are also entitled to 10% off the following Eileen Younghusband titles: One Woman’s War, Men I Have Known & Eileen’s War (proof of purchase required).

Home Fires Burn: The War is in full swing for Professor Travers, Section Officer Le Croissette and the Fourth Operational Corps. But beneath the farms and factories of the Home Front, another conflict threatens to erupt.

The Shadow Man: A private laboratory. A secret experiment. A lethal mistake. Anne and Bill are about to stumble into one man's obsession, causing someone to pay a deadly price.

An Ordinary Man: Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart lives a simple but fulfilling life as a teacher in Liskeard Grammar School. Owain Vine, former student of Mr Lethbridge-Stewart, also lives an ordinary life. An only child, he is happily settled in his home village of Bledoe. But then strange things begin to happen in February 1969. He starts hearing voices, getting visions of a London covered in web! What connects these visions to his old school teacher? And just who is the strange old woman seen in Bledoe, who claims to know everything about Owain and Mr Lethbridge-Stewart?




Candy Jar Books: updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection 2 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the winner of the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition. The winning story, Gone Fishin’, is written by Megan Fizell from Maine, USA.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
All the stories this year have been outstanding and we would like to thank all those that entered, but there can be only one winner. Megan has written a wonderful story that took us all by surprise. Her instinct for characterisation is refreshingly different. In particular, we liked the way she portrayed the burgeoning friendship of the Brig, Sally, Anne and Bill. We look forward to working with her in the future.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of Lethbridge-Stewart says:
This year the level of entries was particularly high, both in number and quality. And, although these stories are not part of the Lethbridge-Stewart canon, the entrants didn’t let that stop them exploring their imaginations! Shaun and I split the entries in half; he picked five finalists and I picked four. Our two top picks then went to Keren Williams, so she could pick the winner of the two. I’m delighted that Keren picked Megan’s story, as it’s a touching little tale and it’s always nice to have another female voice brought to the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Which, of course, Megan will as part of her prize for winning the competition.

Megan Fizell says:
The inspiration for Gone Fishin’ came as much from Thoreau – 'simplify, simplify' – as it did from the desire to give some of the HAVOC crew a well-deserved break. I'm pleased the premise worked as well as it did.

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Tim Gambrell and Harry Draper, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee. This new collection is available to order from the Candy Jar website and features eight featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life:
  • Day Trip by Alan Darlington
  • Marooned at Teatime by Ryan Fogarty
  • Give Me Five Minutes by Mike Warrick
  • The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by James Connarty
  • The Eye of the Beholder by Gary J Mack
  • Summertime Blue by Alexander Whittam
  • The Mystery of the Locked Room by Beau Waddell
  • Nightmare at Lavender Lawns by Bedwyr Gullidge
  • Gone Fishin' by Megan Fizell


Candy Jar is also releasing a special edition of their 2017 limited print run anthology, The HAVOC Files 3. This reprint will contain updated editions of previous stories, and two short stories available for the first time in print. Head of Publishing Shaun Russell explains:
With the success of The HAVOC Files 2: Special Edition earlier this year, it was a forgone conclusion that we’d do a special edition reprint of The HAVOC Files 3. As with the previous release, we decided to look at it as an opportunity to revise a few of the stories, fixing continuity errors and the like, as well as bringing to print two short stories only previously available digitally.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen continues:
This time around we decided to replace The Lost Skin part two (available as part of the larger whole in The Lost Skin novella) with Steven Walton’s The Case of the Missing Fairy. This was originally released digitally for Christmas 2017. Steven is taking the opportunity to expand it somewhat for the print edition. Joining it will be another previous Christmas free story; this time A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds. Alyson is a solid writer, who wrote last year’s highly popular Fear of the Web. A Funny Turn is set during the earlier days of Lethbridge-Stewart’s career, and sees him being targeted by the Great Intelligence in a rather unique way.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition

Strange fungoid creatures in Hull, a deserted Scottish village at Hallowe’en, wishes coming true, and a special mission for Samson and Evans in Llanfairfach. Young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his friends investigate strange happenings in Pengriffen, and Professor Travers returns to Tibet, only to find he’s being followed by enemy agents.

Ten short stories, including two previously only available in digital format, published in print for the first time.

  • The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen by Tim Gambrell
  • A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds (previously in digital format)
  • The Last Duty by Christopher Bryant
  • Eve of the Fomorians by Robert Mammone
  • The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell
  • The Feast of Evans by Simon A Forward
  • Home for Christmas by The Author Collective
  • Slouching Towards Det-Sen by Shaun Collins
  • The Case of the Missing Fairy by Steven Walton (previously in digital format)
  • Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton
The book is available to order from the Candy Jar website.




Emissary of the Daleks - Cover RevealBookmark and Share

Monday, 13 May 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Emissary of the Daleks (Credit: Big Finish)Doctor Who News can exclusively reveal the cover of the upcoming Sixth Doctor release from Big Finish, Emissary of the Daleks

The story, starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant is by Andrew Smith, who wrote the TV Fourth Doctor story Full Circle.

Andrew Smith told us about the story.
I was delighted when John Ainsworth asked me to write a Dalek story for Colin and Nicola for the monthly range. It seemed like a natural successor to my last monthly range script, Hour of the Cybermen, which had Ol’ Sixie pitched against his other arch enemies from way back.

I was given a wide brief, any setting I liked, and I went for an off-Earth story which has its basis in a tactic of the Persian Empire. They would conquer a territory then put a plenipotentiary or emissary in place as its ruler. The population would be treated relatively well, on condition that there were no attempts at rebellion. If there were, the Persians would return and be totally merciless in not just quelling the rebellion but taking cruel revenge on the population. It was a very successful tactic in keeping conquered cities in line. So I envisaged a world taken over by the Daleks with one of these emissaries in charge. An emissary with the principle objective of ensuring there’s no dissent. Because if there is, the Dalek reprisal will be terrible. And what would the Doctor and Peri do, coming into this setup? Would the Doctor want - or be able - to quell his usual instinct to foment rebellion and overturn Dalek rule?

I’d written Daleks before, for the War Doctor range, and found them great fun to do. This was my first time telling a standalone Dalek story of this length, and again it was a treat. It’s just not possible to write ‘Exterminate!’ without smiling. Even more of a treat is writing for Colin. I’ve written four or five stories for him now, and I just love his Doctor and what he does with him in the studio. To get to write for him and Nicola again, my first Sixie and Peri adventure since The First Sontarans in 2012, was the icing on the writing cake.

The Daleks are iconic of course, and were a highlight of my Doctor Who viewing as a child. I particularly remember 9-year- old me’s excited anticipation of their return in Day of the Daleks after an absence of many years. That remains one of my top favourite Doctor Who stories. It’s also one that, like Emissary, features a representative of the Daleks, the Controller, running a totalitarian state in their name. Which provides a satisfying if tenuous link to my story, while also setting a precedent for the use of this tactic by the Daleks.
Emissary of the Daleks is due to be released in August. It can be ordered on the Big Finish Website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National ServiceBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: OHMNS (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the final novel in their anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart books, The Laughing Gnome:

On His Majesty’s National Service picks up where book five left off, seeing the heroes go back in time to the 1950s and the Korean War:
As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a math’s teacher. But then the Korean War broke out and he was called up for National Service. He soon met Spencer Pemberton – and his life was changed forever!
The book is written by David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher, with the cover by Steve Beckett, who has provided the covers for The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range. Beckett said:
I was thrilled to be invited to illustrate the cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart novel On His Majesty’s National Service. This allowed me to depart from my usual cartoony art style seen on the Lucy Wilson books and work in a style influenced by some of my childhood favourite comics, Battle picture weekly and Commando. I really enjoyed working on the piece which involved a little research into the Korean War and particularly the Hungarian army. I hope regular readers enjoy the explosive cover art and my rendition of a young moustache less Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
We knew we wanted a Commando-style cover, and it took us a while to remember we had an artist who has done some work featuring military characters over the years. Although Steve is primarily known for his Beano work (as evidenced by the style of the Lucy Wilson covers), he can turn his hand to many different styles. As usual, I consulted the author, asked him what he wanted, and we then sent these suggestions to Steve.

Author David A McIntee added:
I wanted both Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper on the cover, as well as two Korean characters, with Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper in Hungarian uniforms, just to further tease the audience and make them wonder why... And, I’m glad to say, the final result is pretty much exactly what I’d imagined. I’ve been lucky to have some great covers over the years, and this is easily right up there with them.

The Laughing Gnome: On His Majesty’s National Service is available for pre-order now from the Candy Jar website. It is also covered by the normal subscription and The Laughing Gnome six book bundle.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril InvasionBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the latest in their The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel range:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion
Written by Wink Taylor
Artwork by Steve Beckett

Billy Bandril is the TV sensation sweeping the nation! The hilarious antics of this anarchic puppet have kids and their parents waiting all week for another episode of mayhem.

Fresh from her latest adventure, Lucy Wilson could use some time relaxing in front of the box. But Hobo isn’t too sure... There’s something sinister about Billy and his influence over the viewing public.

When Lucy finds herself live on air with Billy, it’s up to Hobo to interrupt the broadcast, before the curtains close... forever.

The latest in the series is written by Wink Taylor, one of the writers behind children's TV characters Sooty and Basil Brush, and the Theo the Mouse Show tour. The Bandril Invasion draws upon this background with its own maverick children's character, Billy, whose motivations are not all in good fun. Taylor explained:
I spent a lot of happy years writing for children's television and theatre, the bond that kids form with the characters is one of the most rewarding aspects. I was always determined to honour that bond, and make certain that the magic was never broken. It was a privilege to write for such household names and it always fascinated me that the puppeteers at all times remained firmly hidden. This got me thinking: what if the motivations behind this were not benign and were in fact ... thoroughly evil!!

The cover is by regular artist to the ranger, The Beano's Steve Beckett:
This bold, bright cover was a blast to do. Developing a Doctor Who monster, a Bandril, into children’s TV’s hottest new star was great fun. It still has a slight air of menace about it though – poor Hobo!

The Bandrils made their first appearance in the sixth Doctor adventure Timelash; range editor Shaun Russell, said:
Timelash is probably one of the most Marmite Doctor Who stories ever made, either you love or hate it! In my opinion it does have some of best and worst monsters ever featured in the series. The Borad, for example, is wonderful. Others are not so good. The Bandrils, however, are quite puppet-like, and this was my inspiration for this Lucy Wilson story. And that’s when we thought of Wink Taylor. His television and theatre background really helped in creating this slightly oddball Bandril story, which draws upon Doctor Who’s past in many exciting ways.

At the crossroads of old Who and new, with the heart of Jacqueline Wilson, the comedy of David Walliams and drawing on the creativity behind some of children's entertainment's most enduring hits, there's something for readers of all ages in the book.

The Bandril Invasion is available to pre-order exclusively from the Candy Jar and Lethbridge-Stewart websites.